Over the past few years we've seen numerous actors tease the Green Lantern role and we've seen even more fans wish upon their own shooting star for that one specific actor to state the oath:
In brightest day, in blackest night. No evil shall escape my sight. Let those who worship evil's might, beware my power. Green Lantern's light!!
Green Lantern is one of those characters that has garnered a fervent fan-base regardless of which Lantern it may be (there are currently 4 human Green Lanterns). The Lanterns are a favorite among the legions of DC fans, so I thought I'd take you through what we know so far about the rumored & hopeful castings as well as where the Lanterns could go in the DC Extended Universe.
The Rumored Actors
Rumors are always a fickle thing, especially when the rumor is about something that has so many fans in general. It's difficult to pick out what has even the smallest basis in reality. So let's begin with a few of the bigger names.
After the lackluster 2011 Green Lantern film, many people thought that it would just fade into the oblivion of forgotten films and we would never get to see Hal Jordan light up the big screen again. The film itself was called everything from:
As tacky as "Flash Gordon"
Solidly entertaining bit of summertime fun.
Yet, the general consensus was that it wasn't Reynolds' fault that the movie tanked. Regardless of your opinion, for a while Reynolds was rumored to have been attached to the potential sequel, but that turned out to be just wishful thinking among the fans of his portrayal (I being one of those fans - I personally loved his role, but disliked the film). Seeing as we are set to see the revival of Deadpool next year, which is Ryan's pride project, I can't imagine him crossing Universes and playing in both worlds so hopefully Deadpool will keep him locked into that role for years to come, because that's where I think he should focus.
Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson
Around the time that DC announced their plans to launch their own Cinematic Universe, The Rock started cooking some great rumors himself. He had several meetings with WB/DC about what his potential character could be and he kept tossing out Instagrams with hashtags like the one below which put everyone into a fervor as to what Lantern he could portray.
Seems as though he's just being The Rock and playing coy about it all since we're set to see The Rock portray his other favorite DC character Black Adam, so it's quite doubtful that he would portray two DC characters, but if anyone could do it, It would probably be him.
This was an interesting rumor as it was grounded really well in facts. Originally, before Ryan Reynolds was cast as Hal Jordan, Chris Pine was on the short list of actors to play the character. Fast forward a few years to where the DCEU is now, and as soon as it was discovered that Chris was in talks with the studio to have a role in the universe, the internet went nuts with the rumors that he would finally portray Hal Jordan in both Justice League and the Green Lantern reboot film. It was claimed by insiders that Chris was actually in negotiations for the part of Steve Trevor in the Wonder Woman film, but Green Lantern fans believed that to be a smokescreen.
Yet it would appear Pine has signed a multi-picture deal to portray Steve Trevor rather than Hal Jordan. (More on that here)
Tyrese has been extremely vocal about his desire to join the corps and take the Lantern oath, Taking his lobbying to Facebook, Instagram & any social media platform that he can find to further his cause. He has confirmed that he has spoken with the studio about his potential to join the DCEU, but we have yet to hear any official word as to what actually happened in the meetings.
The Dedicated Hopefuls & Fancasts
Along with the actors that we know have been in negotiations with the studio, there are other actors who have taken to the internet to confess their desire to join the Green Lantern Corps. Some of the hopeful Lanterns range from unknowns to well known and vocal supporters of superhero movies.
Common (John Stewart)
Previously cast as Green Lantern in the forgotten George Miller film Justice League Mortal, Common has noted his interest in returning to the role if possible, although it is unlikely as he is already attached to another DC film, Suicide Squad.
Idris Elba (John Stewart)
His name comes up regularly whenever there is any fan-casting for John Stewart and the Green Lantern role in general. The difficulty is that he is linked into the Marvel Universe as Heimdall in the Thor continuity of films.
Michael Rosenbaum (Guy Gardner)
Rosenbaum is a more uncommon, but interesting choice for a Lantern, specifically Guy Gardner. He already has a link to DC through the Smallville television series where he portrayed Lex Luthor. He also has several other roles that have shown his typical characteristics of obnoxious, smart-ass, and likable, which are all qualities needed to make Guy work.
Alex O'Loughlin (Hal Jordan)
Probably the least likely, but an option that is filled with potential is Alex O'Loughlin. He's made a name for himself as the lead star of the Hawaii Five-O reboot. Alex exudes humor, insecurity and cockiness all wrapped up in an Australian action star and he could be ready to leap into a character like Hal Jordan.
Ricardo Segarra (Kyle Rayner)
Basically nobody knows him but he recently tweeted:
See you soon DC Cinematic Universe.
He could have any role, and he ultimately could show up anywhere. He added #BatmanvSuperman & #Justice League to the tweet so he may not even be a Lantern, but he would be a good fit for Kyle if anything, and for all we know Kyle Rayner (pre-Lantern) could very well show up in Batman V Superman.
The Future of the DCEU
The question of who DC will cast as Green Lantern ultimately leads to a bigger question: Will the movie be about the Corps or another solo Lantern?
Collider first broke this rumor, saying that they are hearing the reboot may (emphasis on may) focus on a combination of at least two earth born Green Lanterns. Now all the following should be taken with a grain of salt as it's still incredibly early in the developmental phase seeing as the movie is slated for a 2020 release.
The Green Lanterns are an intergalactic police force who wield powerful rings whose energy is derived from the user's own willpower. Of the 4 human Green Lanterns, Hal Jordan is the fan favorite and most well known of the bunch, the remaining Lanterns being: John Stewart, Guy Gardener & Kyle Rayner.
Hal Jordan is, for lack of a better term, the primary guardian of the sector that includes Earth and John Stewart as his co-guardian. Gardener and Rayner are an Honorary Guard of Lanterns who can work in any sector that they deem necessary.
Green Lanterns have been etched into comic lore nearly as long as Batman and Superman. Hal Jordan was "born" in the 1960s and the legend of the Lanterns have only expanded since then. The 2011 film staring Ryan Reynolds showed potential but lacked precision and ultimately missed the mark of what we know about the Lanterns as a whole, but that doesn't mean that the potential was wasted. There is such a larger story that DC could unveil in the future iterations as they hopefully expand the universe in a way that Marvel has done well.
Truthfully, with this DCEU film still 5 years away, we know nothing about how DC/WB is planning to bring the Lantern(s) into their Cinematic Universe. What we do know is that DC is standing firm by its grounded format for the bulk of the films on their way.
Even with the realistic, gritty approach that DC is pushing, Man of Steel opened up the possibility for Green Lanterns to join the cinematic world that we have so far. Since the beginning of Man of Steel took place on an alien world, it's not completely far-fetched to bring that concept back for future films, as I would envision a Green Lantern Corp film to take place ideally off-world and exploring the intergalactic realm.
I believe *purely speculation here* that we won't get a taste of the Lanterns until Justice League Part One near the end of the film as they inform the League of a greater threat approaching Earth for some reason or another. I believe that we will meet the Lanterns before they receive their rings in Justice League and through the film, they will show that they deserve to take the oath and that will be what continues into Part Two and ultimately into the Green Lantern Film as it focuses on building a safe sector.